SOUTH SHORE LINE ANNOUNCES RELEASE OF FINDING OF NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT (FONSI) FOR PROPOSED DOUBLE TRACK NWI PROJECT
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) based on its review of the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Double Track NWI (DT-NWI) Project. This is a significant milestone for the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) that gives them the green light to continue developing this regionally transformational Project. The Project will result in reduced travel time, more frequent train service, improved safety, and expanded connectivity between northwest Indiana and Chicago. The DT-NWI Project will provide NICTD with the ability to add trains to meet the demands of growing ridership on its South Shore Line.
“The team at NICTD has worked hard to minimize the project’s impact on the natural and human environment for the past two years,” said Michael Noland, president of South Shore Line. “We are thrilled to reach this critically important milestone and advance the project in the Capital Investment Grant process with the FTA,” he added.
The FONSI, which was signed by FTA Regional Administrator, Kelley Brookins on November 1st, is the environmental capstone decision-making document for the Project. The FONSI outlines the determinations and findings of the environmental analysis in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and includes information about the selection and modification of the preferred alternative, analysis of impacts, environmental commitments, and responses to public comments. The FONSI is available for review on the project website (http://www.doubletrack-nwi.com/docs) and at NICTD’s offices at 33 E. U.S. 12, Chesterton, IN 46304 (adjacent to Dune Park Station). The DT-NWI Project proposes to construct a second track between Virginia Street in Gary and E Michigan Boulevard in Michigan City, realign the South Shore Line along 10th and 11th Streets in Michigan City, and close 21 at-grade crossings. It would also enhance the Gary/Miller, Portage/Ogden Dunes, Dune Park, Beverly Shores, and 11th Street (Michigan City) Stations.
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